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UB Reporter


Updated April 30, 2015

Violanti to testify before federal task force

Published February 19, 2015

UB faculty member John M. Violanti has been invited to testify at a “listening session” to be held by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing on Feb. 23 in Washington, D.C.

Violanti, research professor in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, will testify as part of a panel on police officer safety and wellness. It will be the seventh event in a series of eight featuring testimony from invited witnesses and comments from the public.

A former New York State trooper, Violanti is an epidemiologist whose research and publications address the causes, prevention and treatment of work-related stress among police officers. The consequences of this stress, he says, include unusual health risks, among them post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol and drug abuse, lowered sensitivity to violence, physical illness, injury and suicide.

President Barack Obama established the task force with an Executive Order signed on Dec. 18, 2014. Its role is to identify best policing practices and make recommendations to the president on how to promote effective crime reduction while building public trust; foster strong, collaborative relationships between local law enforcement and the communities they protect; and promote effective crime reduction.

The Task Force has been directed to provide an initial report on recommendations to the president by March 2.

Ehrlich named to National Academy of Sciences panel

Published February 12, 2015

The National Academy of Sciences has appointed UB economist Isaac Ehrlich to its Panel on the Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.

The panel will examine — among many other relevant issues the implications of immigration on long-term economic growth, as well as the role of human capital in strengthening productivity, fostering structural change and encouraging economic growth and development.

“The panel is comprised of top economists, demographers and fiscal experts from leading academic and research institutions in the U.S.,” Ehrlich says. “The goal of the project is to lay the basis for a more informed and fact-based discussion of the issues surrounding current immigration into the U.S. among a wide range of audiences from policymakers to the general public.”

A SUNY Distinguished Professor, Ehrlich is chair of the Department of Economics, College of Arts and Sciences, and a faculty member in the Department of Finance and Managerial Economics in the School of Management.

His research focuses on the role of human capital and social institutions as direct facilitators of economic growth.

He has presented a thesis crediting the rise of the U.S. as an economic superpower, overtaking the United Kingdom and other European countries, in large measure to its relatively faster human capital formation.

Ehrlich also serves as the Melvin H. Baker Professor of American Enterprise in the School of Management and director of the Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer, and Economic Growth and Development. His professional affiliations include appointments as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and Honorary Professor at the University of Orleans, France.

He also is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Human Capital, which is published by the University of Chicago press and headquartered at the Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer, and Economic Growth and Development.

Ehrlich is the author of 80 original and reprinted articles in major refereed journals and collections, including two books. He has been supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation and other federal and state agencies, including a major U.S. Agency for International Development grant to study economic development and the role of free enterprise in economic development, and the prestigious NYSTAR award for faculty development.

Wang elected officer in pediatric section of Obesity Society

Published February 5, 2015

Youfa Wang, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions, has been elected secretary/treasurer of The Obesity Society’s (TOS) Pediatric Obesity Section for 2014-15.

He will become the section’s chair-elect in 2015-16 and then chair in 2016-17.

TOS is the leading scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity. Since 1982, it has encouraged research on the causes and treatment of obesity, and kept the medical community and public informed of advances in the field.

Wang also co-chaired the childhood hypertension session at the combined 16th International Symposium of Hypertension and Related Disease and  2014 Chinese Hypertension Meeting held in Shanghai, China, last fall. At the meeting, he delivered a talk, “Tracking of blood pressure from childhood to adulthood: The benefit of childhood obesity prevention programs.”

Hutson named statistical reviewer for transplantation research program

Published January 29, 2015

Alan Hutson, a researcher at UB and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), has been chosen to serve as a statistical reviewer for 2014 grant proposals submitted to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Transplantation Research Program (CRMRP).

The program was developed to assist the treatment of U.S. soldiers injured in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This year, CRMRP will award $15 million to groundbreaking, scientific research proposals that support the execution of complex limb and face replacements.

Hutson, professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, and chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at RPCI, specializes and publishes in the areas of bioinformatics, clinical trials, computational methods and order statistics. A UB faculty member since 2002, he is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and has received more than $7 million in research funding since 2010.

The CRMRP supports innovative research that fosters new directions for, and addresses neglected issues in, the field of reconstructive transplantation research, specifically vascular composite allotransplantation (VCA)-focused research.

 VCA refers to the transplantation of multiple tissues, such as muscle, bone, nerve and skin, as a functional unit (e.g., a hand or face) from a deceased donor to a recipient with a severe injury.